The member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency of Abia state, Hon. Sam Onuigbo, has expressed concern on the non-action by the NNPC over the erosion site in Umunwanwa, Umuopara in Umuahia south LGA of the state despite the motions he moved in the 8th and 9th Assemblies on the floor of the House of Representatives and the accompanying resolutions of the House mandating the NNPC and PPMC to take immediate action to prevent any calamity due to the exposed pipeline.
Rep. Onuigbo stated this at an interactive session with the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Upstream on the state of the nation’s oil and gas industry with the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Mele Kolo Kyari present.
On his part as a member of the committee, Samuel Onuigbo called on the federal government to take immediate actions to prevent a calamity waiting to happen from exposed pipelines in Umunwanwa Umuopara communities in Umuahia south local government area of Abia State.
Onuigbo further expressed concern that despite several resolutions by the house to that effect since the eighth assembly, the NNPC failed to address the issue to ensure the safety and lives of those living in the vicinity of these exposed oil pipelines.
Recall that Rep. Onuigbo had moved two motions on this same matter of urgent public importance (Order 8, Rule 4) and had called on the Federal Government to immediately take actions to prevent a calamity waiting to happen at Umunwanwa, Umuopara, in Umuahia South LGA of Abia State: These motions were initiated in two Assemblies—8th and 9th Assemblies– to get the backing of the House in efforts at ensuring that the Federal Government and its agencies take urgent action to address the life-threatening Umunwanwa erosion.
During his lead debate, the lawmaker said: “Umunwanwa is a town in Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia State and has the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) pipeline passing through it, and the town has been devastated by severe erosion menace”.
“The destructive effects of erosion in Umunwanwa are threatening lives, property, and economic activities in the area, coupled with this threat is the danger that the PPMC pipeline that passes through Umunwanwa has been precariously exposed by the erosion, leaving it open to explosion at the slightest of impacts.
“The ugly petroleum pipeline explosion that resulted in the deaths of about 250 people in Osisioma, in Osisioma Local Government Area of Abia State in 2018, was reported to have exhibited similar dangerous signals which were brought to the attention of the Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) or its subsidiary, the PPMC, but such warning alerts and several calls to act to prevent the deadly incident that happened were ignored or neglected;
“Umunwanwa is sitting on a literal keg of gun powder and except the Federal Government immediately takes measures to defuse this, the looming mass death of those Nigerian citizens might as well be equated to a government-sanctioned execution”, Onuigbo warned.
Disclosing to All Facts Newspaper Correspondent in a WhatsApp conversation, he said “This erosion site among others, is at Umunwanwa in Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia State. I have been seeking all sorts of intervention including some palliative works from Anambra/Imo River Basin Authority. I have also paid for the survey plan and engineering works that were done for that site and submitted to Ecological Fund Office ”
In response, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kolo Kyari, promised to look into the issue so as to avoid both human and economic loss in the area.
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